A letter for Penny

by Tabitha
(Massachusetts)

I am so sad that you’re gone. I can’t believe the amount of grief I am experiencing after your death. I loved you so much, I hope you knew that when you died.

I drove all the way to Springfield for you, and when I got there you were so excited. You were standing on your hind legs peering at me through the top of the cage. I used that picture to remember you. I drove you home and you met Phoebe, who was so much more excited to see you than she was when she met Pippa and Muzzy. The first day I had you I got a sweet picture of you and her together. You guys were so cute.

I don’t know how we bonded so well. I know I don’t always clean the cage often enough and I couldn’t always spend as much time with you as I wanted, but I loved you. You were my first rat to learn how to spin, and you would just spin in circles until I gave you food. There came a point where I didn’t even have to ask you to spin anymore, you just did it when I had a snack.

Oh, and you got to eat so many eggs with me. I loved how excited you got over food, so much more than the other rats. I loved the way you licked my nose, and when I was crying you’d lick my tears.

Watching you slowly become not yourself was incredibly painful for me. I’ve cried more about that than I have about anything else, I think. I could tell something was wrong when you couldn’t balance on the cage door anymore when playing. And then you couldn’t do the spin trick for me, which was how you showed me you wanted a treat. It broke my heart yesterday to see you falling over backwards while trying to eat. I didn’t want life to get any more difficult than that for you. I know you could have lived a bit longer, but you would have been suffering. I didn’t want it to get to the point where I had to force you to drink water. I wanted you to go while you were still feeling some comfort in life.

I’m glad I was there to see you go but oh my god it was so difficult. I hope you felt peaceful as you passed. I am so sorry to do this to you, Penny. I really do love you so much, and my heart is aching right now.

Anyways, I promised you on the way to the vet that I’d write this for you. I love you Penny. Goodbye my sweet rat.

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